On Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 4:42 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> >>  You've got to give it a number and a number we can have confidence in;
> "pretty high" is useless
>  > There are plenty of explicit estimates of the cost of sea level rise.

That depends on how much the sea rises and how fast, and yes there are
plenty of estimates of that and they're all over the map; the estimates
from environmental organizations are consistently more pessimistic but
that's not surprising, if there were not a very serious environmental
problem they'd have to look for a new job.  What we know for sure is that
right now the sea is rising about one inch every 10 years, but that figure
is unlikely to scare lots of people to give money to Greenpeace so they
need to exaggerate to stay in business.

> Other costs are harder to predict:

We don't even know if the net effect of global warming will be beneficial
or harmful, it's not clear that the temperature that will maximize human
happiness is the exact temperature we have now, after all plants grow
better if there is more CO2 in the air and far more people freeze to death
than die of heatstroke.

> How much will ocean acidification affect sea life and fishing?  How will
> rain patterns changing affect agriculture?


 > If we could put a high confidence lower bound on the cost, say 90%
> confidence it will cost more than 10T$, do you think that would cause
> anyone to take action?  or just bring up more doubts and obfuscation?

If that's all the trouble global warming will cause the world in 50 years
I'd vote for doubts and obfuscation! The GDP of just one country, the USA
is about 17T$.

>> because the cost of giving up fossil fuels before a replacement is found
>> to the quality of life of 7 billion people on this planet will be "pretty
>> high" too.
> > That's spudboy's straw man.
Straw man my ass!

  > Nobody suggests giving up fossil fuel without replacement.

The environmental groups do, they want all nuclear reactors shut down
yesterday and massive reductions in fossil fuel which would cause millions
to starve to death and push billions into poverty. The make vague noises
about alternate energy sources but if somebody actually tries  to build a
wind farm or drill a geothermal well or put lots of solar cells in the
desert the oppose that too.

> Global warming isn't vague.  It's quite explicit.

We don't know how much things will warm up and we don't even know if that
warm up will be bad thing. I say let your grandchildren or great
grandchildren worry about it, right now it's as if you demanded that the
Wright Brothers solve the problem of airport congestion before they made
their first flyer.

  John K Clark

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